August 14, 1968: Koosman Stifles Dodgers

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Date: August 14, 1968
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 4
Dodgers: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Bud Harrelson, Larry Stahl
Key play: Harrelson’s single, Stahl’s home run

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Jerry Koosman pitched a complete game for his 16th win of the season as the Mets defeated Los Angeles, 4-1.

After a scoreless first inning, Koosman set down the Dodgers in order in the top of the second. Los Angeles starter Bill Singer walked Cleon Jones to begin the bottom half. An ensuing single by Ed Kranepool advanced Jones to third base. Cleon came home on J. C. Martin’s double play ground ball. Singer struck out Kevin Collins to end the inning. Koosman and Singer then pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth.

Leading off the top of the fifth inning, Paul Popovich homered to tie the game at 1-1. Koosman retired Jeff Torborg on a line drive to first baseman Kranepool and issued a walk to Singer. Zoilo Versalles followed with a single to left field. Koosman then struck Willie Davis and got Bob Bailey on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Larry Stahl.

Collins singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Phil Linz added a single to move Collins to second base. Koosman struck out and Bud Harrelson singled to score Collins with the go-ahead run. Singer fanned Tommie Agee for the third out. Koosman then retired the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth inning.

Stahl hit a leadoff home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Jones followed with a single and Singer was replaced on the mound by Claude Osteen. Kranepool reached on an error by shortstop Versalles on which Jones went to third base. Cleon was thrown out at home by Versalles on Martin’s infield grounder. Collins reached first on a ground ball that brought home Kranepool with the Mets’ fourth run. Osteen then got Linz to hit into a double play that ended the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Popovich hit a leadoff single to center field. Koosman retired the next three Los Angeles batters and singled off Dodgers’ reliever Jack Billingham to start the bottom half. Jerry went to second on a wild pitch and Harrelson flied out to left fielder Ted Savage. Agee struck out and Stahl grounded out to Versalles. Koosman pitched a perfect top of the eighth with three outfield fly balls. Billingham then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Savage grounded out to Harrelson to begin the top of the ninth inning. Ron Fairly hit a fly ball to Stahl for the second out. Popovich then popped out to Kranepool to end the game. The Mets had a victory that gave Koosman his 16th win of the year, tying Tom Seaver’s team record from the previous season.